A code of ethics is a set of guidelines implemented by a company to outline acceptable behavior of its employees. Use of a code of ethics in a small retail business provides a professional standard within a company.


The purpose of the code of ethics is to define company policies relating to the behavior and conduct of company employees. The use of a code of ethics also promotes high standards of practice within a retail establishment.


The code of ethics usually contains wording that clearly demonstrates the integrity of the company. Words like: honesty, respect, fairness, integrity and honor are used to describe the desired behavior of company employees. Information concerning how the clerks, managers and other employees are to deal with each other and business patrons is also contained in the code of ethics also.


There are various options for formatting when creating a code of ethics. These range from a simple mission statement format that affirms the intentions to uphold a strong moral code in the company and have respect for the customers and coworkers to a format structure providing a numbered list of guidelines that cover topics such as the company’s purpose and goals, proper treatment of clients and coworkers, and how grievances are handled.